Despite a big performance from Swain, Iowa State falls

Sami Williams up to bat against Drake University on April 13. 

Ellie Bousson

The Iowa State women’s softball team competed Tuesday afternoon in Ames against the Drake Bulldogs. This was the fourth and final matchup between the Cyclones and the Bulldogs for the season. 

The Cyclones were unable to come out on top, and after leading the whole game, Iowa State lost control and fell 7-6. 

Freshman Saya Swain found a way to stay focused throughout the battle against Drake, even when things seemed uneasy. Until today, Swain has only, statistically, had one win under her belt thus far in the season. 

Head Coach Jamie Pinkerton was pleased with the performance by the pitching from Swain.

“She did a nice job, we have been working on things mechanically. She was really good,” Pinkerton said. 

Swain struck out the first three Drake batters. She didn’t allow any player on base and only gave up one hit that was defended by senior Logan Schaben for the out. 

Swain came out fierce in the second inning. She took down her first batter with three strikes looking. Swain let up a hit that was taken care of by her teammates, grabbing the second out of the top half of the inning. 

The third batter Swain saw in the inning bobbled one to Iowa State’s third baseman, Schaben. 

The Cyclones tallied up another three bases in the bottom of the second inning. 

Swain kept up the tempo in the top of the third inning — she gave up zero hits and zero runs, allowing her team a chance to rake in a large lead offensively. 

In the top of the fourth inning, it looked as though the Bulldogs were going to gain small momentum. Swain gave up three hits to Drake, and with two outs and the bases loaded, she needed to find a way to close out the last batter. 

Pinkerton mentioned that Swain has been battling making the mistake of illegal pitches.

“She didn’t have a single illegal pitch today … she pitched six in the third strong, we should’ve won,” Pinkerton said. 

Although Swain was unable to find the strike zone, Sami Williams was there to help her out when the ball trickled by. Cyclones reached the bag first, still not allowing any points to be given to the Bulldogs. 

After Swain went through a few batters, she let up one hit and a walk to Drake. With a girl on first and second base and one out in the inning, Swain had to get the job done on the mound to keep the Bulldogs from scoring. 

With no misplaced pitches thrown, Swain secured the second out of the inning when she struck out a Bulldog batter. With still two players on first and second base, now with two outs, it was really up to Swain how she wanted the inning to end. 

Full count for Swain, she pitched one down the middle and the Bulldog batter struck out looking and swinging. 

As the Cyclones led over the Bulldogs 6-0 at the top of the sixth inning, Swain still on the mound, she gave up a single to the first batter to start the inning. The second batter on the plate was able to just barely drop one near the foul line, advancing herself and her Bulldog teammate. 

Drake found its first run of the day, leaving one player on third and another on first. After Swain locked in the second out, she gave up a hit and another run to the Bulldogs. Drake still trailed behind Iowa State 6-2. 

In terms of the rest of the Cyclone team, they didn’t exactly facilitate the success for Swain. 

“We didn’t close the door today … it was just disappointing because Saya has worked so hard to correct those things and we couldn’t get the last two outs for her,” Pinkerton said. 

Ellie Spelhaug took over for Swain and the Cyclones in the last inning; Spelhaug had to figure out a way to close out the game with bases loaded. 

The Cyclones softball team will continue their season at 3 p.m. Wednesday in Ames against the University of Northern Iowa.